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Acupuncture Anti-Inflammatory Crohn’s Disease Discovery

Author : Date : 5/26/2015 2:31:15 AM
Acupuncture reduces intestinal inflammation in patients with Crohn’s disease, reverses tissue damage, and improves the quality of life. Until now, how acupuncture achieves these results has gone unanswered. Acupoints treated for Crohn's disease on the abdomen.   Researchers sought to solve this mystery and came up with concrete answers. With the help of immunohistochemistry, researchers discovered how acupuncture works for these patients.
Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) characterized by abdominal pain, diarrhea, intestinal obstructions, abdominal masses, fatigue, nausea, mouth ulcers, and many other disruptions of the gastrointestinal system. Demographically, it disproportionately affects Scandinavians and Ashkenazim Jewish people. Crohn’s disease often affects the colon, anus, and terminal ileum (the distal aspect of the small intestine connecting to the cecum). Deep intestinal ulcerations with a patchy distribution throughout the gastrointestinal system help to distinguish Crohn’s disease from ulcerative colitis. Crohn’s disease has a serpiginous distribution of inflammation whereas ulcerative colitis has a contiguous distribution of inflammation.
Acupuncture and moxibustion have been shown to improve CDAI (Crohn’s Disease Activity Index) scores in modern research. CDAI scores are a method of measuring clinical responses to medicine and medical procedures by quantifying responses and remissions of Crohn’s disease. The researchers note that studies show that acupuncture improves CDAI scores, quality of life, increases hemoglobin levels, and reduces CRP levels for Crohn’s disease patients.
CRP (C-reactive protein) is determined by a blood test and quantifies inflammation levels. High levels indicate inflammation, often due to infections and chronic disease. The research demonstrates that acupuncture significantly lowers CRP levels for Crohn’s disease patients. With the help of an Olympus flourescent microscope, the researchers learned how acupuncture and moxibustion induce a powerful anti-inflammatory response in human patients with Crohn’s disease.
A confirmation of acupuncture and moxibustion’s benefits became apparent in a before and after intestinal biopsy comparison. Prior to acupuncture and moxibustion, patients had a significantly elevated level of giant, multinucleated cells in granulomas. Inflammatory and necrotic cells infiltrated the center of the granulomas. The mucosa epithelium was either damaged or completely absent. Lymphocytes infiltrated the lamina propria and intestinal glands were damaged. The glands contained necrotic, inflammatory, and multinucleated giant cells. After acupuncture and moxibustion, significant improvements were documented. The researchers note that the “intestinal mucosal epithelium was intact, the intestinal glands were reorganized, and less inflammatory cells infiltrated.”
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